Wahine’s Taylor truly a ‘point’ guard
Janevia Taylor can score points for the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball team.
She just missed double figures as a freshman with a 9.6 points-per-game average. Taylor improved to 11.7 as a sophomore, 12.3 last year and is leading the team with a 13.0 average this year.
Schedule: Today, Portland State vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga, 5 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Evansville, 7 p.m. Tomorrow, third place, 1 p.m.; championship, 3 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center.
Radio: UH games live, KKEA, 1420-AM.
Tickets: All seats general admission. $8 adults, $6 seniors. UH students with valid ID and children ages 4-18 free.
Notes: The Wahine lead the Portland State series 3-2, but have not played Evansville or Tennessee-Chattanooga.
The 5-foot-5 point guard needs 24 more points to become the 15th Wahine in the 1,000-point club. If she maintains her present average, she will be in the top 10 at the end of the season.
However, Taylor's goal for her senior season is to be a better defensive player. She again leads the team in steals with 18 after being tops last season with 47. And, despite her position and height, she has averaged close to five rebounds a game during her career
"Nevi's defense is a given for me," Wahine head coach Jim Bolla said. "She plays great defense. I don't know how much better she can get."
Taylor also would like the Wahine to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1997-98 season.
"This is my last year and the last year to win the WAC and go to the NCAA tournament," Taylor said. "We have gone out in the WAC in the first game three times, games we thought we should have won."
The scenario in those games is similar to what has happened to the Wahine this year.
"We play one half good and we get flustered in the other half," Taylor said. "We're not consistent. We know the pain we feel afterward, but it is too late then.
"We have to stay focused for a whole game. We all want this. It's just going out and doing it."
Taylor took over the starting point guard job in the third game of the season. She played the position at San Bernardino (Calif.) High School, where she was the focal point.
Taylor understands that is not the case with the Wahine.
"Coach does look to me to guide others," Taylor said. "I have to do it on a level so they will respond back to me. I have to get my teammates involved while playing the way I want to play."
Bolla says his concern is that Taylor is still learning to play the point. He wants to make sure she is communicating in a positive way and getting people where they are supposed to be.
"We're teaching her the options we have with different players," Bolla said. "I think the team is learning how to listen to her. It is a learning curve."
Taylor understands the priorities of first pushing the ball up the court, looking for the quick, easy basket and, if that isn't there, running the offense. This is different from shooting guard, the position she played the first two games.
"I want to get everyone involved," Taylor said. "When you score you play better defense. I'm confident I can do that. But, if there is a good open look, I'm going to put it up."
She is scheduled to graduate at the end of the summer session.